A Dose of Web App RealiTea

Jim Wagner

Updated · Oct 06, 2003

Officials at TeaLeaf Technology, the only SAP spinoff,
released RealiTea for businesses that want to track down Web site
failures at the source.

According to Geoff Galat, TeaLeaf vice president of product and
marketing, said companies today need to focus on more than just the
three- or five-nines of uptime or five-eight second load times, the
metrics used by many companies to determine the availability of a Web

“Many people bought applications to bring down their costs, instead
they're going up as they try to find out what went wrong,” Galat said.
“Most companies are at the three 9s or five 9s already; if problems
continue it means that that isn't the issue and they need to find a
solution to the problem.”

Instead, he said, IT managers should be looking at each lost customer
purchase and finding out the root cause for the error. Enter RealiTea,
which promises to show the company exactly what the user sees when the
online error occurred.

“It all comes down to the fundamental fact that IT can't see what the
end user can see,” Galat said. “When they can see that, then they can
at least find the category of problem, if not the problem itself.”

RealiTea works like this: every Web-generated action created by every
single customer on a Web site is cached by the software; if the online
transaction goes without a hitch, the information is scrapped, but if
there is an error the information is collected and IT is alerted to the
error. Looking through the log, they can then determine where the error
came from and make changes.

“An application can only be considered available through successful
production-level usage,” said Corey Ferengul, an analyst at the META
Group. “Web application availability must be managed from the
perspective that matters most, that of the ultimate end user of that
application. If a user cannot use an application, regardless of the
reason, that application has failed.”

In addition to the RealiTea platform, which officials break down into
capture, server, portal and viewer, the software comes with several
add-ons for increased functionality.

One of them is the synthetic scripts that can be generated from actual
users, as opposed to scripts created by IT staffers who try to think of
every possible error point in the Web application. The software is
also highly customizable, avoiding the many “false positives” that crop
up when new functionality is introduced into a Web site.

While not going into specifics on pricing, Galat said the software would
be charged by the number of Web server CPUs and end user seats using the
software; the average price tag, he said, would be around $150,000.
TeaLeaf is the brainchld of Robert Wenig, former SAP Labs director of
advanced technology. SAP didn't want to continue working on a product
so far outside its enterprise application core business, so the company
let Wenig take the technology and create a spin off company, the only
such occurrence at SAP, said Galat.

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